27 October 2011

The Tangled Web - Dragons

As a change from the literary, I thought I’d share some of my passion for textiles in the context of our topic this month, dragons.

After all, dragons are great knitters.


In all seriousness, though, for those of us who have had a lifelong affair with dragons, it’s natural to want to expand on that love into other areas. I stumbled onto cross-stitch back in high school when a friend taught me the art after I had learned embroidery. I found it appealing: the simplicity of “X’s” all over the canvas and voila, art. The artist can vary the appearance of the image by placing the cross-hatches of the “X’s” in a certain order and by using half-crosses and varied thicknesses of floss. The resultant variety of expression is spectacular.

It didn’t take long for artists who sell kits to crafters to catch up, once they did. I’m going to share a few of my favorites, as well as some sources in case you want to get your own kit.

This one is a kit I picked up with my coauthor in mind. What I like about it, is that it’s not automatically obvious whether the dragon is a villain. I choose to interpret it that he’s a helper to the wizard, rather than an opponent.

Then came Teresa Wentzler’s fantasy art. Wow. She is awesome. Her designs are both whimsical and serious; by that I mean that she treats the subject with respect. Prior to the 90’s, much of the art I saw was silly - childlike animations that didn’t do any kind of artistic justice to the topic. I love Wentzler’s designs for their beauty and originality.

My source for many of these kits is a neat little site called 123 Stitch. They have a huge library from which to choose.

Other companies I like are Janlynn, Bucila (part of Plaid online), Dragon Dreams, and Dimensions. Dimensions has an exclusive line called the Gold Collection that costs a little more but has fine threads, canvas, and more complex designs. Well worth exploring.

How do you express your love affair with dragons?
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